The KCS Saturday Six – The Inaugural Edition

Today marks the start of a new communications venture for Kingsport City Schools… the “Saturday Six.”  Each weekend, we’ll highlight six items related to KCS.  It may be current news, recent or upcoming events, teacher or student work and achievements, KCS history, or just interesting tidbits about the district.  We hope you’ll make the Saturday Six a regular part of your weekend!

  1.  The Dobyns-Bennett Hall of Fame has six new members.  This week, D-B honored yet another class of outstanding alumni.  Because of their outstanding achievements and dedication to D-B, the Hall welcomes Michael Ainslie (1961), Robin Jarvis Askew (1974), Dr. Locke Carter (1954), Lois Patrick Young-Dobyns (1954), Anne Pope (1979), and Fred Walton (1963).  Once an Indian, always an Indian!
  2. KCS text messaging… Coming to a cell phone near you.  On Monday, KCS parents and staff with a cell phone listed in PowerSchool will receive a text asking if they want to receive future messages from KCS.  By responding with “Y” or “Yes,” they will opt-in to receive future vital communications straight to their cell phone, related to emergencies, schedule changes, or other important information.  It’s one more example of how KCS is always working to improve communications with our community.
  3. KCS is pretty in pink.  On Friday, staff members throughout KCS took part in a fundraising initiative to support breast cancer research and awareness.  Teachers, staff, and administrators raised funds and donned pink to show solidarity and support for this important cause.  If you were in a KCS school on Friday, you saw LOTS of pink!
  4. Johnson Elementary Math Night adds to learning.  Thursday evening, parents and teachers at Johnson came together to take a hands-on took at mathematics instruction and see how students can best be supported in their learning.  It was a great evening of knowledge, community, and fun!
  5. Insight KCS continues to share the story of KCS.  On Friday of this week, the 2015-16 class of Insight KCS took a deep look at the curriculum and instruction occurring throughout the district.  Participants learned about literacy and math instruction, as well as taking a tour of Robinson Middle School and Johnson Elementary.  Insight KCS is a year-long community initiative to share the complete operations of KCS with interested area residents.
  6. We are #OneTribe, #OneKingsport.  Next week, KCS is excited to participate in the One Kingsport summit, working to bring all facets of our community together to shape the vision of our great city.  We are privileged to live and work in such a special place, and the summit looks to be an exciting opportunity to move Kingsport forward.  Our spirit of unity makes us great!

Tennessee Titan Coty Sensabaugh Gives Back to Kingsport

Image   Image   Image

We give back…

In the long and storied history of Dobyns-Bennett High School, there have been countless graduates that have developed their personal talents and gone on to great professional success. Take a glance through the list of D-B alumni, and you’ll quickly discover some of our nation’s finest and most successful individuals. You’ll find the likes of business leaders, military generals, and captains of industry.

In April, one of D-B’s most recent athletic success stories returned to Kingsport to share his personal journey and impress upon our students the importance of education. Current Tennessee Titan and D-B grad Coty Sensabaugh visited several KCS schools to share his message and encourage students to take advantage of the great educational opportunities in KCS. Through his talent, dedication, and commitment, Coty has been provided a platform where he can influence the youth of our community. How impressive that he takes advantage of this to come back and provide such a positive message to our students.

What is even more impressive is that Coty doesn’t just talk the talk. He is serious about using his good fortune to help support the community that, in his words, provided him so much support during his development. On June 14, 2014, the 2nd Annual Sensabaugh Camp Classic will take place at J. Fred Johnson Stadium. This non-contact youth football camp is open to all children, boys and girls, from ages 6-17. In addition to receiving personal instruction from Coty, other NFL players, and coaches, campers will receive a camp t-shirt and lunch.

But what sets Coty’s camp apart from many others (and also demonstrates his loyalty and commitment to Kingsport) is that the camp is totally free to participants. Yes… that is correct. There is no fee for any aspect of the camp. Children can come and learn about football, physical health, and teamwork from positive role models that take seriously the concept of using their good fortune to help others. For more information about the camp and to register, visit

Coty walks the walk. What a great example of someone who recognizes his ability and potential to positively influence our children and community.

We give back… We are KCS!


KCS Students Display Their Patriotism


We are patriotic…

It happens in classrooms all across Kingsport each and every day.  To some, it may seem like just another ordinary routine.  But for students in Kingsport City Schools, it is an exercise in freedom and civic understanding.  It’s the Pledge of Allegiance, and for our students and teachers, it’s how we begin our day.  During this school year, students and teachers have had the privilege of participating in WKPT-TV’s regular morning broadcast of the Pledge, which has aired during “Good Morning America” and has also been posted on the KCS and WKPT Facebook pages.  It has been a fun way for parents and community members to see our students displaying their patriotism.  And let’s face it… It’s always exciting to see your daughter/son/grandchild on television, right?

However, there is a bigger issue at play here.  This is just one of many things occurring in our schools every day that stress citizenship, honor, and civic responsibility.  In a day and age where these traits are often overshadowed by the many voices of popular culture, it’s important that children know and understand the country in which we reside.  We are privileged to live in this great nation and to be a part of a special school system.  In helping our students become excellent in their academic and social pursuits, we also take seriously the need to support and assist in the development of informed, knowledgeable, and responsible citizens.

Kingsport City Schools strives to educate and develop the whole child.  Whether it’s the responsibility instilled through rigorous academic pursuits and extra-curricular activities, the sportsmanship taught through participation in athletics, or the many important life lessons learned both inside and outside of the classroom, our students are growing and developing each and every day. We are proud to play such an important part in the nurturing of Kingsport’s next generation of citizens and leaders.  It’s a vital role in ensuring that we all understand our heritage, our responsibilities, and our pride in our community and country.

We are patriotic… We are KCS!

Johnson Elementary’s Free Little Libraries

We are Community…

Free Little Libraries     Free Little Library 3     Free Little Library 2

Ask any teacher or librarian (or student, for that matter) for their top tips on how to become a better reader, and having access to high quality reading materials is sure to be high on the list. But what can be done to help make sure that this actually takes place, especially outside the walls of the school itself?

The students and staff at Johnson Elementary have taken this to heart and decided to take a proactive step to help make reading materials more available to those in their community by building “Free Little Libraries.” A little larger than a mailbox, these are constructed and placed in neighborhood areas so that children and families can have quick and 24/7 access to books when they can’t get to a school or public library. Community members can simply borrow the books from the Free Little Library and return them when they are finished reading. And as the name suggests, there is no charge to have access to these books… The entire program works on the honor system.

Principal Stacy Edwards, librarian Rebecca Thomasson, and the staff at Johnson continue to collect books to place in the Free Little Libraries, with the first being located in the Miller Village community. A second Free Little Library will be placed outside of Johnson Elementary, which will help serve the surrounding neighborhood when the school library is not accessible in the evenings or when school is not in session. This has truly been a community project, as students, families, and school staff have all worked to find materials and bring this venture to life.

It’s a concept that is quickly taking hold all across Kingsport.  The Kingsport Public Library has one at the library and one on Bays Mountain.  Lincoln Elementary expects to have five in place by this fall.  Jackson Elementary should have two in their community by the end of the school year.  With Johnson’s leadership, access to quality reading materials throughout our community is greater than ever.

What a great example of a group that looks beyond working to just provide what students need at school, and has their eye on supporting the entire surrounding community even when the school day is done. The new Free Little Libraries will support all children in the Johnson area, both young and old, by fostering a culture of literacy, trust, and shared purpose. Hats off to the children, staff, and families of Johnson Elementary for dreaming big, even with the product is “Little”!

We are community… We are KCS.